The latest release of OCAD is available from the OCAD website.
OCAD 6 is available from the OCAD website as a freeware version but note that it is not compatible with Windows 7 or later.
The latest release of the open-source Open Orienteering Mapper is available from the Open Orienteering Website. This software runs on Android, Linux, macOS and Windows.
In April 2019, IOF Council approved the publication of ISOM 2017-2.
Mappers may find the ISOM 2017 Symbol Transition guide useful when updating maps drawn to previous versions of ISOM. The ISOM 2017 changes document provides some background and the reasoning behind the changes made in ISOM 2017. Some of the changes referred to in this document have now been superseded by revisions in ISOM 2017-2.
Please direct any specific issues (or resources you would like to share) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Significant contributions by Bruce Bryant, David Olivant and Erik Peckett to the introduction of ISOM 2017 to British Orienteering are acknowledged.
In April 2019, the IOF map commission replaced the sprint map specification ISSOM 2007 with ISSprOM 2019. The changes are described here.
British Orienteering Symbol Sets
ISOM 2017-2 and ISSprOM 2019 symbol sets, including course setting symbols, OS and EA logos, are provided in OCAD 9 to 2018 and Open Orienteering Mapper file formats. These latest symbol sets are primarily for drawing new maps. The ISOM 2017-2 symbol sets may be used to convert an existing map to use the new symbols but maps will need to be checked carefully after conversion. A useful method is to export a bmp from the old map and open it as a background map in the converted file.
Variation of the British Orienteering Symbol sets from IOF specifications
The "BOF" OCAD Symbol sets for ISOM spec are based closely on the default IOF / OCAD sets and are very similar. The current BOF sets were based on an early ISOM 2017 OCAD set and then updated to reflect the ISOM 2017-2 revisions. Both the OCAD and BOF sets have continued to be tweaked and as a result there are a number of minor differences mainly related to the order and details (Naming, CMYK values, Overprint settings) of the colours in the colour table.
The British Orienteering ISOM 2017-2 sets still retain Overprint mode on Purple and Brown 100% which in most cases gives better printed results than the IOF specification which moves the colours down the colour table and removes overprint mode.
Some of the new ISOM 2017 area symbols (Broken Ground: 113, 114, Boulder Field: 208, 209, Stony Ground: 210, 211 & 212) in the BOF symbol sets use a symbol "Structure" with better backward compatibility for earlier versions of OCAD and are designed to overlap generally without interference patterns. The default OCAD sets have issues in both respects.
The “BOF” OCAD Symbol set for ISSprOM was developed separately from the default OCAD set due to delays in the implementation of ISSprOM and quite a few (unexpected) late revisions to the final spec. This has resulted in a British Orienteering ISSprOM set that has a number of subtle differences, mainly intended to improve legibility particularly with the large number of Urban ISSprOM maps that we have in the UK. These are detailed in the ISSprOM symbol set file if it is opened directly rather than used as a "New Map" but also in a pdf which has 2 columns comparing IOF symbols to British Orienteering symbols – here.
Download Mapping Symbol Sets
Members of Map Advisory Group have produced new symbol set files dated May 2021. These provide updated copyright symbols and address an issue with 416.1 (alternative veg boundary symbol).
ISOM 2017-2 changes from ISOM 2017
· 411 Impassable Green symbols removed
· 416.1 alternative veg boundary increased line thickness
· 417 and 419, additional versions with white framing
· 418 with white dot in centre
· 202 revised (thicker) cliff symbols and with round ends
· 206 changed to area symbol from point symbol
· 311 Well reduced in size (not orientated to North)
· 501.1 New symbol for distinct Steps
· Green 60% and 30% colour definition change (was defined as 50% and 20%)
· British Orienteering 2021/2022 OS / EA Copyright symbols added
· 416.1 alternative veg boundary - corrected to Green + Black 50% (this colour needs to be added back into the colour table, CMYK 76, 0, 91, 50 if manually converting a map)
For an experienced OCAD user, addressing just these specific symbol changes should be sufficient to update a map from ISOM 2017 to 2017-2 without doing a full symbol set conversion.
NB Click on the links above and click download
Each OCAD zip has 5 symbol sets that need to be extracted and copied into the OCAD symbol folder:
The OCAD 11, 12 and 2018 sets have an additional text file that also needs to be copied into the same folder.
The OOM has 5 symbol sets that need to be extracted and copied into the correct scale folders within the OOM Symbol Sets folder. Folders for 1000 and 2000 will need to be created.
Please note: The content relating to ISOM (2000) in these guidance documents has been superseded by the publication of ISOM 2017-2 and ISSprOM. The principles of conversion may remain useful for later software versions.
British Orienteering Map Group has set up an OCAD Help Line. This is organised initially by Bruce Bryant of Octavian Droobers who can be contacted by email. If he is unable to answer your question then he will refer it to others in the Map Group.
Use the template provided below to meet the requirements for a standard layout for Level A event maps as set out in British Orienteering Rules, Appendix D - Mapping.
The font for the Map Layout Template below 'Muli' can be downloaded here.
From 2010 a new contract with the Ordnance Survey (OS) has been imposed on British Orienteering and there are several consequences resulting.
Firstly, they are claiming their copyright on virtually all orienteering maps. Obviously, maps drawn directly from OS material are included but also other maps based on photogrammetric plots (set up using spot heights) and even those with national grid references are covered under the heading “derived data”.
This means that all these maps should include the statement “© Crown Copyright (year) 100015287.” For example © Crown Copyright 2020 100015287.”
The size limit of maps that clubs may include on their website must not be greater than 200 sq. cms of paper at the original scale. The image on the internet cannot be capable of being edited or customised in any way, neither must it disclose any addressable coordinates. There is also an annual reproduction charge for each image displayed of £4.75 payable to Ordnance Survey through British Orienteering.
The map extract should include the wording “© Crown Copyright. All rights reserved. 100015287. " and the website should state “This website contains mapping data licenced from the Ordnance Survey with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office © Crown Copyright 2020. All rights reserved. Licence Number 100015287”
Maps used with Routegadget are covered as they are sent to the Routegadget website and as they are accessed from there they are covered by the Routegadget OS licence.
Some clubs wish to include maps of permanent courses for downloading. The option given to British Orienteering is that this is not covered by their agreement and clubs would be required to take out their own licence for each map at considerable expense. A preferable alternative would be for the maps to be placed on the British Orienteering website using the POC management system with links provided from the controlling club site.
For school maps produced by members of British Orienteering, the maps should include an event or activity number. This will provide the mapper with insurance for public liability during the survey. However, if the map is not to be used for a British Orienteering registered event, the OS copyright agreement for the map should be provided by the local authority as it will not be covered by the British Orienteering contract. Mappers who produce orienteering maps of schools and other educational establishments should be aware that the Ordnance Survey has changed their licence arrangements following the introduction of schools opting out of Local Education Authority (LEA) control and that this affects the production of orienteering maps for academies and private schools. Further information and guidance can be found here
OS and LiDAR Copyright Logos
Please note: These links have been tested with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, if you only have Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge and have trouble using the links, please contact the National Office.
The website for the International Orienteering Federation Map Commission including links to mapping specifications for other orienteering disciplines, Control Descriptions etc.
Magnetic Variation Calculators
IOF Printer Test Resources for download:
When mapping school grounds, you may wish to refer to the School Mapping Specifications and the School symbols sets contained in the zip files linked above.
The following information and resources may be of use to you: